Brac University’s General Education program provides a common education foundation to all students before they take courses specific to their major and minor fields of study. The program promotes the core aims of the liberal arts curricula: to develop well-rounded individuals who have a broad range of knowledge on a variety of subjects and a mastery of skills that can be used across disciplines. Students graduate from the program with the ability to think critically, learn creatively and communicate skilfully.
Students take a variety of courses in the fields of humanities, social, natural and formal sciences; and interdisciplinary studies. A unique part of the GenEd program is experiential learning. As part of their course work, students spend time in rural and urban communities to learn first-hand from the people themselves, their history, the challenges they face and the resilience they demonstrate in combating social, economic and natural adversity. Participation in workshops, conferences and seminars is also part of the experiential learning experience.
GenEd courses expose students to new ideas and engage them to think about a variety of critical modern-day issues, ranging from governance structures and failures, to the environment and businesses. The program provides multiple approaches to analytical and quantitative reasoning, with the idea that students will explore and express complex ideas in both academic and non-academic settings.
Through the General Education Program, students develop skills to gather, organize, refine and critically evaluate information and ideas. They learn how to identify and think critically about socially relevant problems and provide creative and sustainable solutions to these problems. Students are able to reason and solve problems from a wide array of contexts and everyday life situations; understand and create logical arguments supported by quantitative evidence; and clearly communicate those arguments in a variety of formats as appropriate. Students are able to articulate their value systems, understand the ethical implications of their actions based on those values, and develop skills consistent with having a positive impact on individuals, groups, or communities by understanding the foundation of empathy and ethical values. This will allow them to identify areas of difficulty in responding to situations demanding ethical inquiry and understand and evaluate the causes of societal problems and potential solutions.
A great emphasis is placed on the importance of diversity. Students develop an understanding of how social, cultural, linguistic, artistic, religious, philosophical, and historical contexts have shaped society, and the thoughts and actions of people worldwide. They also analytically compare the influences of community, institutions, and other constructions such as class, gender, and race on the ways of thinking, believing, and acting in cultural and historical settings other than one’s own. Students also learn to promote an inclusive culture that accepts and appreciates human diversity in race, religion, gender, ethnicity, economic and class backgrounds and sexual preferences. Hence they graduate with a strong moral compass and ethical outlook.